Usually Monday posts are giant and we had 5 Christmases this weekend so I could tell and show you a lot but we could not find our main camera and Heath took our backup one to Peanut’s Christmas program today so I’m going to hold off on Christmas Party stories in hopes I will have the accompanying pictures tomorrow. I will however tell you about…
Operation Van Recovery.
Since I am skipping most of the weekend I’ll start from the beginning. I got up Sunday morning and went for a run with Berry. We ran down to the trail just south of our house and headed east. We got to the spot where the trail used to end but they had made it longer so we kept going.
Then we got to the end of the trail but there was a dirt trail so we kept going on that until it ended and we were in front of the river and railroad tracks with no where to go. We had run longer then I intended to but I was curious where the trail was going.
We headed back and my butt was pretty kicked when I got home. Heath and the kids were getting breakfast and I joined them as we needed to eat so we would be ready for lunch Christmas later on. I had 2 big pulled pork sandwiches for lunch and then my stomach felt funny from such a dense breakfast right after a hard run. I laid on the couch topless and recovered for a minute then Peanut looked out the window and said “a police car is here”. I got up and saw a cop headed towards the house so ran and grabbed a shirt then answered the door with Heath. The cop asked us if we were the owners of a green van.
We said yes and she asked where it was last and we told her Brookside and she asked if it was movable and I said yes and they asked if we would like to move it before it was towed and we said yes. I grabbed my toolbox and called Jon then picked him up in my truck and we drove over the van and parked. There were 2 cop cars waiting for us. We started to overinflated the tires to make it easier to turn and one of the officers walked up. He asked if it ran and we told him it did we were just worried about it overheating so were leaving it here till we got a part. We did not mention no power steering or power breaks because he probably would have made us tow it. He said it was a public street and completely legal spot to leave it but they were getting complaints so we needed to move it or they would have to tow it. I think maybe I could have argued that if we were not breaking any laws we should be fine to leave it there but I was ready to move it. The battery was completely dead so we started jumping it from the truck.
We got it started. It ran for a minute then died. We started jumping it again and decided I would stay at the wheel and give it gas to try to keep it running. It really would overheat if we drove it long so once we got it started Jon quickly disconnected the batteries and closed the hoods and off we went. I pulled out past the cop car and rolled through the stop sign in neutral, giving it lots of gas. I drove up to a busy 4 lanes of traffic stop light. I switched to neutral and rolled up giving it gas the whole time. As the van came to a stop it died and the battery was completely drained. The alternator is not connected so the battery is not getting recharged while running at all. So the van is dead at a busy intersection and has no lights or anything. Jon and I hop out and work on a plan. The cop is right around the corner and bound to find us any minute. Our first plan it to push it backwards a ways then push it forwards into a parking spot. Once there we would be able to charge the battery. We looked around and there was too much traffic, we were causing a mess already and getting cars behind us to backup or something looked impossible.
So Jon pulled my truck around in front of the van. The truck stuck out into the intersection a ways so we quickly attached a tow strap to both vehicles and when the light turned green we took off. I was behind the wheel of a van w/ no break lights, no power windows and just a little bit of steering just a few feet behind my truck. The power drivers seat was scooted all the way back and laid back so I sat on the very edge or 1/2 stood up so I could see the upcoming stop signs and turns over the top of the truck. Jon took us down Oak a fairly narrow road with some cars parked along the sides. It was pretty exciting as we worked our way down the road. I had to stop us for stop signs and lights and would ride the breaks hard for 1/2 a block or so to stop the van and truck in time. Somehow we made it from 63rd street to 79th street and Jon’s house was just around the corner. We made the last turn and cruised right into his driveway.
We got the van in a fairly convenient spot and then unhooked the truck and we both got out saying something like “WHOO WEE”. We nearly got in trouble with the police or had to pay some money for a towing or ran into something but we didn’t and now the van was safe and sound at Jon’s.
I did go to Pick and Pull on Saturday morning and looked through all the big vehicles for some ford around 96 w/ the same motor as our van but I did not find any and could not find a similar bolt on any of the older/smaller/bigger motors there.